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pushing for a recovery. the man set to lead japan starts work on getting the economy back on track. a man who led japan once before is laying the foundations for another shot at leadership. next week shinzo abe is expected to find his way back into the prime minister's office, a place he left five years ago. he's already preparing to tackle japan's economic malaise by bringing back an old post. abe led the liberal democrats to victory sunday in the lower house election. they assume power in a week. abe says he plans to reinstate the council on economic and fiscal policy, suspended by the democrat-led government. he'll appoint a new minister to take charge of the council. abe will appoint former prime minister taro aso as his finance minister and deputy prime minister. abe hopes aso can bring his experience and economic
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expertise to bear on the dual problem of deflation and the strong yen. abe wants central bankers to do more on their part to prop up the economy. yuko fukushima joins's you now from the business desk. yuko, we've talked a lot about the pressure abe's putting on the bank of japan. >> that's right, catherine. and abe has been saying that since the election campaign started that he'll revive the economy and he wants the central bankers to do their part. abe just met the governor of the bank of japan yesterday and he's to told what he wants the bank to do and we'll see what happens as central bank officials gather for a two-day policy meeting that kicks off on wednesday. they'll discuss additional credit easing measures and a higher inflation target. abe urged the bank of japan governor to set a 2% inflation goal. that's after a new administration is established. the central bank policy makers say these aggressive measures could be risky, it could have a negative impact on the economy
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if prices go up without wage increases. they also worry an accord with the government would restrict the central bank's independence in setting monetary policy. in the u.s. president barack obama and republican house speaker john boehner are scrambling to avoid the looming fiscal cliff. they're trying to reach an agreement on how to tax the wealthy. the president offered to limit tax hikes for people earning more than $400,000 a year. instead of his original proposal of $250,000. but republicans are calling for more concessions. >> what we've offered meets the definition of balance. but the president is not there yet. >> boehner said he will submit a bill to the house later this week proposing higher taxes only on people with income over $1 million a year. white house spokesperson jay carney said the two sides are close to a deal. >> the president has
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demonstrated obvious willingness to compromise and to move more than halfway. toward the republicans. >> spending cuts and tax increases including hikes on the middle class are set to take effect in the new year. the democrats and republicans will need to reach an agreement before then or the u.s. could face a recession. let's check on the markets for this wednesday morning. well, the nikkei average is above the 10,000 level and touched an 8 1/2-month high. it is currently trading at 10,044. that's a jump of 1.2% from tuesday's close. investors are buying up exporters. that's on hopes that the bank of japan may take more monetary easing steps, which will weaken the yen further. and in other markets in the asia pacific region, australia's benchmark is up about half a percent, 4,620. and in south korea the kospi is
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closed today for the presidential election. and on to currencies now. the dollar is trading higher against the yen on expectations the u.s. policy makers will make an agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff by the end of the year. the dollar/yen is now changing hands at 84.34 to 39. and the euro/yen is trading near the highest level in one year and four months. the pair is now quoted at 111.56-59. and now one of the big reasons for the rise in the value of the euro is that the standard & poor's has upgraded greece's sovereign credit rating by six notches. the ratings agency cited the country's commitment to debt reduction and monetary injections by international lenders. s&p raised greece's credit rating on tuesday from selective default to b-minus. the new rating is still low and not suited to investment, but s&p officials say the outlook is
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stable. the greek government bought back sovereign bonds from commercial banks and the private sector earlier this month at prices lower than the face value. s&p officials praised the euro zone members' decision to provide greece with financial support. they say the upgrade reflects s&p's view that greece's neighbors are serious about keeping the country in the eurozone. back here in japan the trade deficit came to about $11.3 billion in november, posting a red for a fifth month in a row. finance ministry officials say the figure is a record high for november. that's the third highest level since comparable records became available back in 1979. exports fell by 4.1% from a year earlier in yen terms. exports have fallen six months in a row. ships and autos led the drop. meanwhile, imports rose by .8% from a year earlier. that was due mainly to increases in telecom equipment and liquefied petroleum gas.
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and by region exports to europe tumbled nearly 20%. the debt crisis has dampened demand there, and exports to china fell 14.5%. chinese consumers are shying away from japanese goods due to an ongoing territorial dispute. japanese university students are busy trying to land a job in an economy that's not proving that welcoming. the japanese firms hire them en masse before they graduate. and third-year students started their job hunting in earnest this month. before most looked for jobs at big firms, but that may be changing. nhk world's shio tanaga tells us more. >> reporter: more than 100 students crowded into this recruitment seminar in tokyo. the company publishes free magazines and has only about 400 employees. until recently small firms such as this one often struggled to
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attract any students to seminars at this university. nami kitajima has been looking for sales work. she says she doesn't care about the size or fame of the company. >> translator: i'm not looking at how big the firm is. the issue is whether i can grow personally through the company. >> reporter: traditionally, most students have tried to land jobs at leading firms. the belief was that those companies will provide stable work. but that was before giants such as sharp and sony laid off thousands of workers this year. university officials say the performances of big firms are behind the change in attitudes among students. >> translator: students are no longer sure what to trust.
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they now focus on whether they can demonstrate their ability to the full instead of caring about company names. >> reporter: a survey by the job research institute suggests students are changing their approach. a majority of them have turned their backs on large companies and are now looking for work at small companies with less than 1,000 employees. in the past small and mid-size firms were considered second-class, and they had difficulty securing the best talent. metal processing firm tamano products in tokyo is one such company. its 33 workers manufacture parts for cameras and medical equipment for large makers wp. >> translator: our biggest problem is that students know little about small firms like us.
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>> reporter: government officials are trying to change that by matching students with healthy small businesses. nine students are visiting the plant in a program planned by the tokyo metropolitan government. >> translator: we can cut out even a tiny piece like this with very sharp accuracy. >> reporter: the students get a close-up look at smaller businesses. the hope is that this may tweak their interest in working at such firms. hamano products is planning to expand overseas using its precision technology. so it's looking for employees who are global-minded. >> translator: i want young people to take responsibility and actively break new ground. >> reporter: company officials told the students that jobs
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there are rewarding because it's a small company. >> translator: at first my targets were big companies, but now smaller firms interest me because i can get involved in a large project even as a first-year worker. >> reporter: more students are realizing that size isn't everything, and if they can find the right company they could help re-energize small and mid-size firms. and perhaps even japan's flagging economy. chie tanaka, nhk world. >> that's all for me for now. i'll leave you with the market figures. ♪ ♪
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officials at the united nations and elsewhere have long suspected that iran and north korea were sharing the technology for ballistic missiles. now an iranian lawmaker says the north koreans informed officials in tehran in october of their plans to launch a satellite. that's more than a month before the north's official announcement on december 1st. the head of an iranian parliamentary delegation to north korea spoke to nhk. hamid reza taraghi said members of the delegation met in october with their counterparts in pyongyang. the secretary of the workers' party of korea, kim yong il, led the north korean side. taraghi said his counterparts told him they were ready for a satellite launch. >> translator: north korea ec
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emphasized the launch would be a result of their technology. the country maintained it would be a satellite and not be used for military purposes. it's a good thing to break away from the western monopoly on satellite launches and for asian countries to gain the know-how to launch their own. we encouraged and welcomed their decision. >> taraghi said they discussed ways to ease the impact of western economic sanctions. he said that they agreed to collaborate more on how to meet their energy needs and how to feed their citizens. iranian officials insist they have not provided north korea with missile technology. millions of south koreans are taking time out of their day to chart their future. polling stations are open for a presidential election. voters are weighing a number of issues as they cast ballots from the state of the economy to relations with north korea. the main candidates in this race
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are park geun-hye of the ruling saenuri, and moon jae-in. they're leading four other candidates and almost tied. park has a support rate of 44.9%. moon has 41.4%. 1/10 of voters say they're still undecided. moon is pledging change for working and middle-class people. he said he'll invest in job creation and establish a stable welfare system. he's been selling his message to young and independent voters. they backed former contender anh cho suh. anh dropped out earlier in the month and threw his support behind moon. park is the daughter of a late south korean president. she is stressing that she will work hard to improve people's lives. she's focusing on conservative and pro-business voters. south koreans will consider several issues as they fill out their ballots. they've expressed concern about the gap between rich and poor,
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which has widened under outgoing president lee myung bak. 40 million people are eligible to vote. more than 13,000 polling stations are open from 6:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. electoral officials will start counting ballots right after that. protesters hit the streets across china in september after japan nationalized the senkaku islands. a chinese government think tank reports the islands and those demonstrations topped internet posts this year. the chinese academy of social sciences released a report about online forums and the chinese microblogging site waebo. researchers say users made 177 million posts about the islands and protests over them. the second most popular topic was the london olympics, with fewer than half the number of posts. the report highlights that some of the demonstrators who were arrested didn't even know where the islands were. it says frustrations over china's wealth gap was behind their claims.
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government leaders in thailand are looking across their border with myanmar and seeing what many see. they think they're better placed than most to tap into myanmar's economic potential as it opens up. thai prime minister yingluck shinawatra visited an economic zone on the indian ocean. she met with president than schway. the cost, $50 billion. her visit was the first from a prime minister of thailand since the o'two countries signed a memorandum of understanding in 2008 to develop the area. >> translator: by april of next year clearer details should be available and we should also be able to invite investors to join the product.
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>> the project is set to become the western access point for a road cross the china peninsula. it would connect the indian ocean to the south china sea. it could be a gateway for foreign investment in myanmar. the project has gained extra attention since myanmar launched its policy along with economic and democratic reforms. it's a legacy of decades of war. land mines and unexploded bombs kill and maim people in afghanistan almost every day. more often than not the victims are civilians, a danger highlighted again this week when a group of girls stepped out of their homes to do a chore. nhk world's hideki yuri reports. >> reporter: a small village in eastern afghanistan mourns the loss of its children. on monday the bodies of 11 girls aged between 9 and 11 years old laid to rest. >> translator: the girls were
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trying to collect firewood outside the village. when they became victims of a landmine explosion. >> the explosion apparently occurred while the girls were getting firewood. one of them accidentally struck an explosive device with an ax. an estimated 10 million land mines have been buried across afghanistan since the soviet invasion of 1979 and during the civil war that followed. ngos work tirelessly to remove unexploded ordnance. their efforts were recognized in 1997, when the international campaign to ban landmines received the nobel peace prize. the campaign says landmines are a major threat to civilians. over the past two years they have killed or maimed on average over 40 people a month.
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unexploded bombs and munitions pose a similar danger. they regularly claim the lives of impoverished people including children who try to sell them as scrap metal. the international campaign to ban landmines says more than 1 million afghans live within 500 meters of unploeded mines and ordnance. it says the international community should provide more support to protect afghan children, who represent the future of the nation. hideki yui, nhk world. emerging economic powers still struggling with poverty. emboldened citizens still demanding democracy. the threat of violence. the push for peace. the shadow of conflict. get news and inside on south and southeast asia, every weekday, live from bangkok, only on nhk
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world "newsline." the u.s. defense secretary has revealed plans to deploy the next generation of fighter jets in western japan. leon panetta says the united states will stage f-35 stealth jets from 2017. >> for the first overseas deployment of the f-35 joint strike fighter to iwakuni in 2017. >> the f-35 is equipped with stealth capability to obscure it from radar. analysts say the plane is expected to check china's military growth. it already floyd f-22 fighters at the u.s. kadena base in okinawa. japan's defense ministry will adopt f-5s as its next mainstay fighter jet. investigators in japan are trying to figure out what caused an expressway tunnel to cave in killing nine people. the team will test bolts that held up concrete ceiling panels inside the structure.
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transport ministry and expressway officials started the tests tuesday in sasago tunnel in yamanashi prefecture. more than 300 ceiling panels fell earlier this month, crushing three vehicles. the investigators will use a device that pulls down on ceiling bolts that are still intact to determine how much force they can withstand. they'll analyze about 100 bolts and the concrete holding them in place. the media were not allowed to observe the work. officials say they'll collaborate with police to gather more information as they try to figure out the official cause of the collapse. they say the investigation will take several weeks. a u.s. karat has ordered anti-whaling group sea shepherd to stop disrupting japanese research whaling. the u.s. court of appeals in san francisco gave a preliminary injunction on monday. the injunction pribtsz the u.s.-based group from attacking japanese-based whaling ships and their crews. it bans the vessel from sailing in a manner that could endanger
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safe navigation. it also prohibits sea shepperd from approaching the ships from 500 yards or about 460 feeters in open cease. the rug folds follows an appeal in april. a u.s. federal court rejected their request in march that sea shepherd stop obstructing japanese activities in the antarctic ocean. the new preliminary injunction will remain valid until a court issues an official ruling. the japanese institute said in a statement on tuesday it welcomes the court decision. the sea shepherd organization said it will set sail for the antarctic in a bid to discourage japanese ships from whaling activities. queen elizabeth has done something she hadn't done during her 60 years on the throne. she attended a meeting of the british cabinet. prime minister david cameron extended the invitation. his spokesman said the queen attended as an observer, listening to the discussion for
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about half an hour. cabinet members gave her a set of placemats for her diamond jubilee marking 60 years as monarch. they tributed their own money to buy the gift. some british critics argue the invitation was inappropriate. they say her attendance at a cabinet meeting could blur the distinction between the government and the monarch, who's supposed to have no political power. a japanese man is being recognized as the world's oldest person. juro kimura is 115. he's seen three centuries and lived through four emperors and 61 prime ministers. the people at guinness world records officially recognized kimura as the world's oldest living person. he succeeded the title from a woman who died monday in the u.s. she was born 15 days before kimura in 1897. kimura lives in kyoto in western japan. he worked at a post office until he was 65, and he farmed until he was 90.
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kimura will break the all-time record for male longevity on december 28th. it's time now to take a look at the world weather forecast. heavy snow in eastern europe has claimed the lives of dozens of people and caused major disruptions in traffic and power supply. meteorologist sayaka mori gives us the details. >> hi there. the eastern part of europe has been hit by a severe cold snap. ukrainian officials say 37 people have died from the severe cold spell. more than 150 people remain in hospital with frostbite 37 temperatures have dropped as low as 20 degrees in western parts of ukraine. snowstorms trapped hundreds of cars in a gigantic traffic jam on one of the major highways. the army came to help with tanks to clear snow and tow trapped vehicles. snow has let up in ukraine.
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so that's good news. but snow showers will return to this area on thursday. that could hamper recovery efforts unfortunately. meanwhile, severe weather is still ongoing in the eastern half of the mediterranean. 100 klemm purchase-hour gusts in bulgaria. 15 millimeters of rain in the past 24 hours in italy and part of the balkan peninsula. severe weather will continue throughout the day. turkey's going to be seeing the britain of it. off toward the west the next atlantic system is moving into the british isles as well as parts of the western continent, bringing another round of wet and windy weather. temperatures are looking like this. looking very mild out toward the west but very chilly out toward the east. minus 2 in stockholm. minus 16 degrees in moscow. that's about 12 degrees colder than seasonal. this is due to cold air coming in from siberia. the cold air is also affecting the other side of eurasia.
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blanketing mongolia, northern china, the korean peninsula as well as japan. you saw minus 10 degrees at 8:00 a.m. local time. temperatures will remain below freezing throughout the day despite the sunshine. tokyo dropping down by about 7 degrees since yesterday. strong winds are creating sea effect snow along the sea of japan side of the country, from hokkaido down toward western honshu. daisen has received as much as 55 centimeters of snow over the past 24 hours. an additional 40 to 50 centimeters lookly for a large area. that could raise the risk of avalanches on top of strong winds and highways. on the other hand the pacific side should be staying largely dry. finally, let's go over to the americas, then. it's going to be a very busy travel week because a christmas holiday is coming up next week. unfortunately, many drivers may run into hazardous conditions due to heavy snow.
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we have a winter storm affecting the four corners region with snow as well as howling winds. the system will quickly intensify and head toward the northeast. these conditions are likely across parts of kangs cancel and colorado, and snow will also spread into the upper midwestern states from your wednesday night. as much as 50 centimeters of snow is likely in wisconsin. and to the south severe thunderstorms will be wrapped around the central and southern mississippi river valley. even tornadoes are not out of the question. staying dry in western texas, but that is raising the risk of wildfires. and up toward the northeast snow showers are ongoing in southern quebec, the atlantic canada as well as new england states. temperatures are looking like this, and i will leave you now with your extended forecast. ♪
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♪ that's all for this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for joining us.
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steves: the dramatic rock of cashel is one of ireland's most evocative sites. this was the seat of ancient irish kings for seven centuries. st. patrick baptized king aengus here in about 450 a.d. in around 1100, an irish king gave cashel to the church, and it grew to become the ecclesiastical capital of all ireland. 800 years ago, this monastic community was just a chapel and a round tower

PBS December 18, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm PST

News/Business. World events, business news and weather forecasts; broadcast in English. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Nhk 6, Tokyo 5, North Korea 4, Greece 4, China 4, S&p 4, Kimura 4, Myanmar 3, Thailand 2, Ireland 2, Newsline 2, Europe 2, South Koreans 2, Ukraine 2, Afghanistan 2, Klemm 1, Elizabeth 1, Catherine Kobayashi 1, Tamano 1, David Cameron 1
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